Monday, February 9, 2009

Part one of greener can be cheaper

Step 1: Forget about the gimmicks.

A single baby blanket hand-tied with am organic hemp string before being adorned with a hand-lettered recycled paper diecut tag proclaiming its incredible greenness is cute...until you see the price. Is this product designed to improve sustainability for the average consumer or to allow the well-heeled shopper to congratulate themselves as they load this one perfect blanket into their SUV and head home to the 6000 square foot home for three people?

If the goal is to REALLY reduce waste and pollution and environmental abuse, a package of ordinary-looking baby blankets with an ordinary printed tag will reach far more people. Of course, the blankets can be green, whether that means organic or made without toxic dyes. And the labels and bags can be recycled materials. But because there is no need to shout, more people would buy them.

More demand would reduce the unit cost, as unit costs for manufacturing are higher for smaller runs. So even more people could buy green...probably many of them without even looking for green. And THAT is when green is real and not about show.